The Late Movies: Springsteen on the Ukulele

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Last week, I stumbled upon Uke Springsteen's MySpace. Uke, who by day is Pat Healy, is a one-man cover band, using his ukulele to strum out renditions of popular Bruce Springsteen songs. (His remix of "Atlantic City" rivals The Band for best cover of the iconic song.) Perhaps not surprisingly, Uke is not alone in his hobby. Here's nine clips of other Bruce-lovin' ukulele players.

"Thunder Road"

Sam Love Kemp describes herself as an "amateur ukulele enthusiast." Along with her college buddy, Erika Strandjord, Sam hits open mic nights around Iowa with her ukulele, a Red Cedar Concert ukulele from Mainland Ukes. Here, she covers "Thunder Road," one of her favorite Springsteen songs to listen to while driving. She based her ukulele arrangment of the 1975 hit off Bruce's performance on MTV UnPlugged.

"State Trooper"

Sam's pal Erika performs her dad's favorite song since he couldn't see her at a recent open mic.

"Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"

This version of "Rosalita," one of Springsteen's most upbeat tunes, is surprisingly mellow thanks to Kevin's ukulele.

"Born To Run"

Performed by a true uke enthusiast (as evidenced by the 10—10!—ukuleles hanging on the wall behind him), this version of "Born To Run" comes with the added bonus of a kazoo blasting out the iconic first chords of Springsteen's most famous tune.

"The River"

Laura O' Callaghan, Eamon Cagney, Maria Falsey, Eoghan Judge, Thomas Doyle and Owen Sutton perform the title track from Springsteen's fifth album. O'Callaghan is responsible for the uke and the vocals on this one and contributes to a truly imaginative cover.

"Hungry Heart"

Ian Brown and Stevo Corrigan, otherwise known as Two Blokes, Two Ukes, dedicate this version of "Hungry Heart" to their pal Ellie Daniels. Brown and Corrigan are also open to requests. (Another post for another day: Their version of Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" is quite entertaining.)

"Dancing In The Dark"

Uni covers the first single released off  Born in the U.S.A.—a song most notable for a very young Courteney Cox's appearance in the music video—in Bar Mendocino, Helsinki, Finland.

"Out In The Street"

After all these videos, have you been aching to learn how to play some Springsteen on your own uke? You're in luck! Mark made an instructional video for "Out in the Street." He also gives a quick but interesting crash course about the difference between a ukulele and a guitar, which is good trivia for any faithful Flosser.

"Growin' Up"

Mark also covers "Growin' Up," which some YouTube commenters erroneously believe is a song by the Beach Boys. In fact, "Growin' Up" was released in 1973 on Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and was featured in the 1999 Adam Sandler flick Big Daddy.

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January 26, 2010 - 5:00pm
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